The Striped Skunk doesn't have the smelliest defense mechanism in the wild. Its cousin, the spotted skunk, possesses an even more potent musk. The spotted skunk is also the better entertainer.
Spotted skunks are sleek, fast, and skilled climbers. They're highly nocturnal, too, which means that few of us ever see them. But while we're spared their malodorous weapon, we're deprived their acrobatic performances. These start when the spotted skunk feels itself threatened. First, the animal rapidly stomps the ground with its forefeet. Next, quite remarkably, it rises up on its front legs and performs one or more handstands. And if the threat persists, the skunk will drop back onto all fours, curve its body so that both front and back ends face the interloper, and deliver a blast of skunk musk up to 16 feet away.
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